Supreme Court today reserved its verdict on a Rajasthan government’s appeal challenging High Court’s order staying conviction of Bollywood actor Salman Khan in the black buck hunting case in which he was awarded five-year jail term by a trial court.
A bench headed by Justice S J Mukhopadhyay also raised questions on High Court’s verdict for staying the mega star’s conviction without going into the merits of the case and just to pave the way for him to get the visa to travel to the United Kingdom for professional purposes.
“It is completely perverse and not based on evidence. Can conviction be suspended merely because you want a visa? If the same principle is applied then any convicted person can apply for services (jobs) after getting his conviction suspended,” the bench said.
Senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, appearing for Khan, said that the actor will face hardship if his conviction would not have been stayed by the high court as it adversely affects his right to travel abroad.
Responding to the submission, the bench referred to its recent verdict on disqualification of the lawmakers in the event of conviction and said, can the conviction of a politician be also stayed merely because he says that he will face hardship and get disqualified as an MP/MLA after conviction.
The bench said that the court and the government have allowed Salman to go abroad but if he is not given visa to travel to the UK for his conviction then he should approach the British authority.
“There is no restriction on you in this country. Court and government have allowed you to go abroad so your rights have been taken care of. So if you have any grievances then you can approach the UK court,” it said, adding that this court cannot issue a writ to the British authority to consider and grant the visa.
The state government had approached the apex court against the order of Rajasthan High Court which had, on November 12 last year, stayed his 2006 conviction in the case and paved the way for him to get a British visa.